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excellent post on Viacom. In addition to the strong assets that you mentioned in your post, the Viacom stable also includes Nickelodean, Paramount Pictures (complete with Star Trek franchise), Simon and Schuster, Blockbuster Video, and UPN. (You could probably make a pretty compelling argument that UPN is not an asset, but that's another post).

You were absolutely right about the lack of appeal of the Viacom brand name, and having visited the late, unlamented flagship Viacom store in Chicago, I can attest to its confusing jumble of themes and product.

But while the parent company may draw blanks from many consumers, their individual brands are truly powerhouse. Nickelodean in particular has become the #1 childrens programming channel in America, and combined with the spinoff films being produced by Paramount (such as the Rugrats movie), the merchandising tie-ins being sold in the new Nick stores, as well as in the Blockbuster stores, the Nick books being published by Simon and Schuster, etc., etc-this has become a real cash cow.

Combined with their leading position in music broadcasting entertainment, I believe Viacom is extremely well positioned to appeal to the 25 and under consumer. It will be interesting to see how they achieve synergies with CBS, which has been long known for appealing to an older demographic (at least until the recent reality shows of Survivor and Big Brother).

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